Students design new products for Clifton Suspension Bridge

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Five Art Foundation students from South Gloucestershire and Stroud College are celebrating the launch of a new range of products inspired by the Clifton Suspension Bridge.

Charly Sargent, Emily Terrington, Jess Langham, Kathryn Iles and Maddie Blanchard were challenged to design and develop souvenir items that the Clifton Suspension Bridge Charitable Trust could sell to raise funds to support their STEM learning programme.

Student Kathryn Iles said “I felt honoured to do this - not just for myself; for the bridge and Bristol! This project was quite important to me because I’ve lived here my whole life and I see the bridge as the main icon for Bristol” Charly Sargent added “this project has provided me with skills I can use and built the foundations for many more.”

Over the course of their autumn term, students participated in a tour of the bridge, learning about its history, construction and maintenance – as well as some of the social history stories related to it. Working with the Bridge Archivist, they also viewed objects, documents and photographs relating to its history before exploring the Visitor Centre exhibitions and looking at products already available from the shop. The five were then challenged to research local and online artists who had developed their own product ranges, develop a concept and create three draft design ideas which were then refined to become a final piece of artwork and a set of specifications for the chosen product. Working in a range of media including etching, watercolour and digital design, the group designed bags, mugs, badges, notebooks and keyrings which have now been professionally manufactured and are on sale from the Clifton Suspension Bridge Visitor Centre shop.

Clifton’s Chair of Trustees, Chris Booy said “we have been tremendously impressed by the creativity and professionalism of the students. They have all created artwork of a high standard and thought carefully about their products, specifying preferences for sustainable materials and price ranges that would be appealing to people of their own age. The designs that they have developed are fresh new ways of interpreting the bridge with a contemporary style.”

Emma Derbyshire of SGS College added “This is a real credit to the students’ artistic flair and a fantastic achievement. I am really impressed with and proud of them all.”  

The full range of products is available from Saturday 22nd June and prices begin at just £5.00. 

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